Today at Listen & Learn Plus!

New at Listen & Learn Plus!

On Tuesdays, the mp3, instrumental track, and lyrics/chords for the newest songs are available to Listen & Learn Plus members for download. In addition, members are always welcome to request existing Listen & Learn songs and new song topics.

Movin' In the Circle Album Cover

You know that feeling you get when it’s time to change things up and take a new approach? I was experiencing that feeling recently in my studio…and then my stretchy bands arrived in the mail.

These things are so much fun! I was so excited to put them to use in several of my music therapy and early childhood music groups, and it turned out they were just what I needed to liven it up around here. Movin’ In the Circle is what I hope to be only the first of many stretchy band-specific songs. There’s just so much you can do with them; really, they warrant an entire collection of tunes!

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Movin’ In the Circle

Movin' In the Circle - Stretchy Band Song

For a while now, I’ve heard about and seen stretchy bands in action, but had never actually tried them. Boy, have I been missing out!

I was thrilled when Janet Stephens (owner of Bear Paw Creek, the makers of the stretchy band) and her sister Kathy Schumacher (music therapist and owner of Tuneful Teaching) reached out to be about creating a stretchy band-specific song. Of course I immediately said yes, and got to work.

Movin’ In the Circle is designed to be used in a group setting, using the stretchy band while seated on the floor. There are all kinds of movements that can be done in this manner, and the song lists just a few:


I’m already excited about the possibility of writing an entire series of stretchy band songs, because they can be used in SO many different ways. If you haven’t already, please make sure to check them out for yourself. I’ve only been using mine for a couple of weeks now, but they are already a huge hit with my students!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kathy Schumacher

Friday Fave: Closing the Books on a BIG Year

Closing the Books on a BIG Year

Today is a pretty momentous day around here. Not only is it the last day of the spring semester for my studio, but it signifies the end of my first year of full-time private practice. The fastest and most exciting year of my life thus far, to be sure!

Just one  year ago, I was finishing up my fourth and final year at The Hope Institute and getting ready to jump into the scary world of self-employment. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was prepared to work harder than I ever had in my life to ensure that I was making the right decision and could indeed be successful.

I’ve learned so much in the past 12 months — about running a business, pushing myself to the limit, and finding balance. I’ve grown as a music therapist and studio teacher, and I’ve learned to concentrate on my strengths rather than dwell on my weaknesses.

Though I’ve missed my former students and coworkers since leaving Hope, there hasn’t been one day when I’ve regretted taking the leap. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful families and pursue projects that I couldn’t have otherwise, and my plans are only to continue doing lots more of both.

After today’s music therapy sessions and lessons, my students and I will enjoy a 2-week break before beginning the summer session. I’m looking forward to taking some time off to relax, hang out by the pool, and have a little birthday vacation in Austin. But I also have a long work-related “to do” list just waiting to be tackled…it’s all about balance, as I’ve learned!

I want to say thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported me along the way this past year. It’s been a BIG one, and I’m so grateful to have so many wonderful people who care enough to accompany me on this wonderful and wacky journey.

Today at Listen & Learn Plus!

New at Listen & Learn Plus!

On Tuesdays, the mp3, instrumental track, and lyrics/chords for the newest songs are available to Listen & Learn Plus members for download. In addition, members are always welcome to request existing Listen & Learn songs and new song topics.

Riding My Bike Album Cover

There’s really not a whole lot that can top riding your bike on a beautiful spring day! The past two weeks have been absolutely gorgeous and perfect for riding; just yesterday I took my longest ride of the year thus far at 36 miles.

Being out on my bike so much only emphasizes important of bike safety, especially where children are concerned. My parents instilled in me the importance of wearing a helmet, using signals, and ALWAYS being cautious of cars.

Get immediate access to this, plus over 100 other songs, lead sheets, visual aides, and valuable resources for only $9.99 per month…learn more about becoming a member or just subscribe below. You won’t be disappointed!

Members, click here to access this post.

Riding My Bike

Riding My Bike

All winter long, I look forward to warm weather for many reasons, but mostly this one: so that I can ride my bike! And since we’ve had such a beautiful (not to mention early) spring, I’ve already put almost 600 miles on my bike since March 1st.

And though my rides are a bit longer now than they were when I was younger, riding my bike still makes me feel kinda like a kid — in a good way. However, I’m a lot better about bike safety now than I was back then, and that is what today’s song is all about.

I’m getting ready to head out on a nice long ride this morning with my dad, and you’d better believe we’ll be wearing helmets, using our signals, and putting to use all of the other safety tips mentioned in the song. Well, except for the one about riding on the sidewalk…we’re a little too old for that ;)

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